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For the Hi-Fi enthusiasts amongst us...

  1. madjestikmoose

    madjestikmoose Nov 26, 2019

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    Been thinking about establishing a thread for this for a while, as I suspect I’m not the only member on here who appreciates fine audio as well as fine watches - so a page to share hifi preferences, setups, advice or general chitchat. I’ll start off with the story of how I got into it, if you’ll indulge me...

    It’s basically my Dad’s fault. He is a big classical music fan, particularly organ, which doesn’t float my boat at all but that didn’t stop me being impressed by the quality of his 1960s Quad 33/303 amps and electrostatic speaker setup whenever he piped that stuff out, usually at volume bordering on the uncomfortable. Nobody ever forgets their first album - mine was REM’s Automatic for the People and I’ll never forget playing it through that system the day I bought it and just being totally blown away. So when I turned 14 and CD was fast becoming the norm (1992 I think), I asked for and got a player for Xmas. Naturally I needed amps and speakers and, perhaps unbelievably, dad had a spare 33/303 combo knocking around in the loft which he agreed to lend me for the next however-many years, along with a pair of home-made speakers.

    The speakers weren’t great so I quickly upgraded them to a set of Mission 752 floorstanders, and that setup served beautifully until a couple of years ago, when my wife got fed up with the cables and old boxes and instructed me to sell up and find something more compact. I did so and then turned up to the Bristol hifi expo where I discovered, being a Quad fan, the newly-released Artera Solus one-box system. It was like my R.E.M. moment all over again; I went to several booths that day but must have returned to Quad at least three or four times. I knew there and then I had to have it and had ordered it within weeks along with a set of S1 bookshelf speakers.

    So now I’m enjoying my back-catalogue all over again! Which is great. And even Dad is jealous; he’d never admit it, but the fact he reclaimed his 33/303 amps after all these years says it all! Thanks for reading. Enjoy the thread. :cool:
     
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  2. Tony C.

    Tony C. Ωf Jury member Nov 26, 2019

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    "It’s basically my Dad’s fault" lol!

    I'd venture to guess that I am a wee bit older than you, as my interest in audio began in the 1970s. I grew up in Evanston, IL, just north of Chicago, and was lucky enough to have access to a really good, and then rather uncommon Hi-Fi store called Audio Consultants. I loved to hang around and listen to the components, even though it would be a few years before I could afford anything remotely high-end. I learned plenty from the salesmen during that time, and a passion was born.

    Some of the notable early components that I once owned were an Apt-Holman pre-amp, Dalquist DQ10 speakers, an early Bryston 4B amp, Magnepan Tympani speakers, Nakamichi 600 cassette deck, Bang & Olufsen Beogram 4000 (vertical tracking) turntable, and the list goes on.

    In recent years I developed a fit for purpose system that suited my smaller space in Lisbon, including a vintage, re-capped Accuphase E-303x integrated amp, matching T-103 tuner, Electrocompaniet EMC-1IP CD player, and Harbeth P3ESR speakers.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. gefmey

    gefmey Nov 26, 2019

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    Oh the curse of the collector. IMG_3426.jpg
     
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  4. madjestikmoose

    madjestikmoose Nov 26, 2019

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    Oh wow, that’s gorgeous! Do those valves light up in the dark??
     
  5. gefmey

    gefmey Nov 26, 2019

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    you bet they do! Also puts out 60w with the KT88s
     
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  6. madjestikmoose

    madjestikmoose Nov 26, 2019

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    night time photos! Pleeeeeeeease! ::popcorn::
     
  7. gefmey

    gefmey Nov 26, 2019

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    I hope this helps. My listening room has no windows so why wait.
    IMG_3430.jpg
     
  8. madjestikmoose

    madjestikmoose Nov 26, 2019

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    Lovely!! You just don’t see that stuff any more, anywhere :-(
     
  9. gefmey

    gefmey Nov 26, 2019

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    Few and far between sadly.
     
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  10. Vitezi

    Vitezi Nov 26, 2019

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  11. Evitzee

    Evitzee Nov 26, 2019

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    A Marantz 1060 integrated amp! I have one of those, a good amp from the 70's (30w/ch, but more like 45). The last time I used it, 15 years ago, it came across as very rounded and too mellow compared with my newer gear
     
    Edited Nov 26, 2019
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  12. gefmey

    gefmey Nov 26, 2019

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    I use the Marantz for the pre-amp stage only. It does have a mellow sound, which I like, it pairs well with the Dynaco.
     
  13. BlackTalon

    BlackTalon Nov 26, 2019

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    My system is large 'aged' versus 'vintage'. Old B&O budget TT from early 1980s (back to life and working, though). The used Audible Illusions IIb I've had for over 30 years croaked about two years ago, so I replaced that with a tubed preamp made by Don Sachs. Amp is a 25+ year-old Bryston 4B, upgraded ~2 years ago to 4B-ST specs. Speakers are 25-year-old Von Schweikerts (waaaay different than what they made these days). Besides the B&O TT, sources are a 25+ year-old Soundstream tuner and an OPPO 205 (my previous Audionote CD player died ~ 2 years ago). Currently figuring out what to do for a streaming service and a streaming box.

    Got some other stuff tucked away in the basement areas, like a 35 year-old Nak budget tape deck and what was their top-of-the-line CD player in the early '80s. Recently scored a Revox R2R player and a Sony R2R player, both from the late '60s. Also got a Fischer receiver from the same time period.
     
  14. Larry S

    Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Nov 26, 2019

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    Search for this topic on the forum. Yea top shelf booze, quality tunes, pets, cars we are into those too.
     
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  15. djmusicman

    djmusicman Nov 26, 2019

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    I use a Quad power amp with a matching pre. Sturdy and reliable. A modern Marantz integrated amp would probably do the same job. As far as sound goes, there is simply little point in spending big money on fancy amps that cost thousands unless you like the look of them. Double blind tests have proven this. The speakers are by far the biggest variable. Jean Marie Reynaud in France make fantastic sounding speakers to my ears.

    There are so many snake oil products out there in the Hi-Fi industry. AC power cables that cost thousands, all that money for the last couple of metres the electricity travels through, it's just stupid but some people buy them. What about CD players, you just have to use common sense, it's digital. It either works or it doesn't.

    I once met a guy who spent 2,000 euros on speaker cable. He claimed to hear extra clarity, yeah right. By the time you switch the cables over you forget the sound anyway. I guarantee that if someone took away his fancy cables and replaced them with the cheapest cables that function he wouldn't notice any difference. Until he saw them of course. Either that or admit that he fell for the old dealer scam of "you have to spend at least 10% the value of your system on the cables".
     
  16. Lazy_Lightning

    Lazy_Lightning Nov 26, 2019

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    Tubes will never go out of style.
     
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  17. eatabagel

    eatabagel Nov 26, 2019

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    Nice! Is that an ST120 with the KT88s?
    My modern ST70 designed by Bob Latino and VTA says hi. Built it from the kit last summer and am so in love with it.

    Presently looking for a good preamp to pair it with. Right now sources are a Chromecast and a Pioneer PL510 (and a Pro-ject phono pre) into a Luxman line level switch, into a surprisingly good $30 FX-Audio tube preamp, and pushing out to a pair of Dynaco A25 speakers.

    Looking to get either a Conrad Johnson preamp or maybe build an Elekit tube pre or an Aikido-based design from VTA.

    20190822_191336_HDR.jpg
     
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  18. BlackTalon

    BlackTalon Nov 26, 2019

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    If you're not a hi-fi enthusiast that's fine. But if you don't think cables can make a difference, or if you believe all CD players sound the same, etc. chances are you haven't really played with swapping out any components and cables and listening. But of course your results will be limited by the lowest-resolution item in the chain. I tried out a few different amps years ago, and another time I tried a few different interconnects between my preamp and amp. There were differences that could be heard, and it had nothing to do with one being more expensive than another. The most expensive amp I tried out didn't work as well with my speakers as some of the less costly amps. Matching amps and speakers is important. And with the interconnects, the one I though sounded best in my system was actually the least expensive out of the few the shop loaned me to try (and it wasn't expensive at all). Use your ears, and go with what works best with the other parts of your system.
     
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  19. JanV

    JanV Nov 27, 2019

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    I have a quite good setup in my living room, but this got me quite excited, my latest addition to the upstairs reading (now becoming) easy listening room.

    It’s a full set B&O Beomaster system from 1973 in absolute mint condition and still sounds great.

    Not anywhere close to your setups by any standards, but a nice touch of vintage, clean B&O design.
     
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  20. Ian_km

    Ian_km Nov 27, 2019

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    Ahh touched on another passion of mine! 96F737C2-3A60-4E9A-B19E-976F1F234B15.jpeg
     
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